Take a look inside Forestiere Underground Gardens, one of Fresno’s best kept secrets


One of Fresno’s best kept secrets is actually beneath the city in hand-built network of underground rooms, courtyards and passageways reminiscent of the ancient catacombs.

Forestiere Underground Gardens is 10 acres of subterranean tunnels, rooms, patios and grotto’s built in the early 1900’s by a Sicilian immigrant, Baldassare Forestiere, who was after his version of the “American Dream.”

Forestiere came to Fresno in 1906 wanting to start a citrus farm, but the land he purchased was useless for growing. Instead of quitting, he had a vision.

Inspired partially by the 115 degree temperatures and remembering the cool cellars of Italy from his youth, he build his very own cellar to get away from the heat.

For forty years, using only hand tools and mules and without dynamite or drawn out plans, Forestiere carved out his own “American Dream” underground.

He designed courtyards to utilize natural light, Roman arches to add to the architecture, bedrooms for the different seasons, a courtyard with a heated bath, a pool for fresh fish, gardens, trees, vines and even a car port!

Now, people come from far and wide to see Baldassare’s creation. California Life’s Bob Lopez take us inside the unique creation on this week’s episode.